Macon City Hall was evacuated for about an hour Monday afternoon due to a suspicious backpack found outside and nearby.
Patricia Colbert, secretary in the mayor's office, says she saw the bag while walking back from lunch. Just a few minutes before, a Macon police officer also spotted the bag.
The Macon police bomb squad was called in and employees were told to get out.
Parts of Poplar Street outside city hall were also blocked during the evacuation.
"Once we see how big the package is, we take a very high guess at the distance it would be to hurt somebody, and that's how we position people behind us," says Lieutenant Wilton Collins with the Macon Police Department. "Once we read the x-ray and we were unable to discount it as a threat, we pushed people a little farther back to make sure."
Then, officers did a controlled detonation.
"It's now done on our terms," says Collins. "We've got everybody evacuated, and I'm sure any bomber doesn't want the building to be evacuated. He probably wants to cause casualties. So, we've already taken control from him, if in fact, it had been a threat."
Collins says officers did not find anything dangerous in the backpack but he would not release what was in it.
People returned to city hall around 2:45 p.m.
Macon police took the backpack to the crime lab. Collins says they have no leads on who it belongs to.
This comes one day after a north Bibb County movie theatre was evacuated due to a package left unattended. It contained diapers, books and clothes.